My phone addiction nightmare


Person chained to phoneMobile phones. What a trap they are. I get all wrapped up in conversation until the electronic voice almost politely tells me to shut up and to put more money on my prepaid.

Sick of running out and guzzling up money I turned to what looked like a great affordable new phone plan. Not only did I get a snazzy phone with all the latest features, but also what looked like unlimited access to everyone and everything I knew. $550 worth of calls on a $69 a month plan seemed like a total dream. I could keep myself hanging on the phone talking to my boyfriend and family all day and night long at my own convenience.

Instead I woke up screaming over the $700 bill I incurred in just two weeks. What have I done? I felt weak. My future now felt bleak. There was simply no way I could pay it off.

I charged to the phone dealer and complained that I had been taken for a ride. I got very little sympathy. He told me that the service provider is a business, then gave me some very tough options to choose from, which all required vast amounts of money to exit or change plans. I knew I was going to have to toss aside the phone that almost felt like an appendage to me. I couldn't imagine how I'd get through life without it.

I had loved my phone to the point where I couldn't hold back even when I was put on hold. I kept hanging on, listening to the piano or boring elevator music or advertising or large beeps that pierced my eardrums, totally unaware that this was coming at a huge price.

In the end I had no choice but to give it up. For a while I did not have a phone. I don't know how I coped. It had been like an expensive designer drug. It kept me in touch and highly animated. How I loved ringing up everyone from banks to psychics to my wonderful parents, boyfriend and friends. How much fun I had! I felt a sense of empowerment and freedom that I never felt before.

I know now that I abused the hell out of my phone. It was like a rag doll which I'd drag around everywhere. It came at a huge price that kept inflating like a huge balloon until it finally burst and the party was over.

It also just about caused me an early mid life crisis. I have never spent more money on anything else, even designer clothes, jewellery and furniture. It even topped the electricity bill. I used the phone like running water.

Every second counts as dollar amounts. As the old saying goes, time is money, and this is the very first strict rule which applies to the mobile phone.

Now I can credit myself with controlling my new phone better, by keeping calls to a minimum, and by not fearing to tell people when I cannot afford to ring them. After switching back to a prepaid I now have no choice but to switch off and use other forms of communication such as chatting online, or even doing old fashioned things like writing letters and talking to people face to face.

Just like the phone plan I now find myself exiting conversations with grace, and disciplining myself to the limitations of the prepaid.

Isabella FelsIsabella Fels is a Melbourne poet and writer. She has been published in various publications including Positive Words, Mental Illness Voice, The Big Issue and The Record.

Phone and chain image from Shutterstock

Topic tags: Isabella Fels, mobile phones



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Existing comments

Great article, Isabella. I can absolutely identify - I've racked up a lot of huge mobile bills myself, but can't give up my phone. It has my whole life on it! Love your description of abusing your phone like a rag doll you carry around with you. Thanks for sharing, and good luck. Keep up the great writing... :)

Megan Waters | 30 May 2014  

" I find myself myself exiting conversations withs grace and dsciplining myself...": What a beautiful final sentence to end with a nightmare! Thank you for sharing your experience, Isabella with such a great text. Good work!

Aurelio Gutiérrez | 28 June 2014  

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